Jury acquits 17-year-old of attempted rape, abuse charges

A Kingston teen accused of trying to rape a 10-year-old girl has been acquitted on sex crime charges following a jury trial in Ulster County Court.

On Friday, May 11, the jury found Cameron Turner, 17, not guilty of attempted rape, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The jury returned a guilty verdict on a single misdemeanor count of criminal contempt stemming from his presence at the home of a girlfriend on the day of the alleged attack in violation of an active order of protection.

According to prosecutors, on July 13, 2011 Turner was babysitting for the girl, a relative of his then-girlfriend, and two younger children when the alleged assault occurred. The girl told the jury that she was on a bed with Turner watching “Spongebob Squarepants” when Turner grabbed her, placed her body on top of his and attempted to penetrate her vagina with his penis for what she variously described to police, a grand jury and the court as five, 10 or 15 seconds. The girl told police that she jumped off of Turner, then went into another room, and then to a nearby park before returning and asking him to take her home. After Turner dropped her off, the girl said, she immediately related the incident to her mother, who called police. Turner was arrested just after midnight on July 14 when a cop an off-dutyKingstoncop working security at an apartment complex spotted him in a parking lot. Later, under questioning by KPD detectives, Turner claimed that the girl had climbed on top of him as they lay in bed, but that he had quickly pushed her off.


 ‘A man’s worst nightmare’

At trial, veteran defense attorney Jeremiah Flaherty portrayed his client as an innocent victim of a girl who, for reasons unknown, lied about the alleged assault.

“This is a man’s worst nightmare,” said Flaherty. “You babysit for some kids and all of the sudden, someone’s pointing their finger at you.”

The trial hinged in part on DNA evidence from clothing secured during the investigation. According to a lab report, DNA, likely from semen, was found inside the shorts and underwear Turner was wearing at the time of the alleged attack. The investigation also revealed Turner’s DNA on a pair of boxer shorts worn by the girl. But, as Flaherty pointed out to the jury, the shorts belonged to Turner’s girlfriend, offering a plausible explanation for the presence of his DNA. Underwear worn by the girl, meanwhile, showed no DNA that could be linked to Turner.